My Carry On

Since I'm flying back home today (I just finished another 2 week stint in Florida for work), I thought it would be prudent to do a post on what's in my carry on. Though, I should clarify: I rarely check bags, so 99% of the time I only have carry on luggage but this is the stuff that I keep in the bag that goes under my seat (not in the overhead compartment) so that it's handy and I can get at it whenever I want.
carry on
  1. Evian mineral water spray ($14 for a pack of two travel sized sprays at Sephora) - this stuff is awesome because you can spritz it on your face for a bit of refreshment and hydration. Recycled airplane air is incredibly dry (you'd never complain that it was too humid on a flight) so your skin will thank you for the moisture. Don't forget - you'll probably have to pack this in your liquids bag!
  2. L'Occitane Lavendar Hand Cream ($22 for a 2.6 oz tube at L'Occitane) - the skin on your hands is likely to dry out as well so I always pack this ultra rich hand cream. The subtle lavender scent is soothing - smells much better than the plane, anyway - and it helps me sleep. I've managed to sneak it through security without having to put it in my liquids bag but you might want to put it in yours to play it safe.
  3. Korres Milk Proteins Make Up Removing Wipes ($25 for a packet of 25 wipes at Sephora) - makeup removing wipes are my best friend when I'm traveling. They don't count as a liquid (hurrah) and they travel really well. I like to give my face a scrub down a few minutes before landing so that I arrive looking fresh and glow-y, despite having spent hours in transit.
  4. SNACK! These days, unless you're taking a 14 hour flight halfway around the world, airlines won't give you anything to eat, for free that is. And if you're like me, you get cranky when you're hungry and extra cranky about paying exorbitant prices for sub-par food. That's why no matter how long the flight (even if it's just an hour) I like to pack a little something to eat. I usually pack an apple and/or a baggie with grapes or blueberries, and a sandwich. Most flights offer complimentary soft drinks but I usually bring a reusable water bottle with me and ask the good people at Starbucks (or any coffee place) to fill it up with water for me.
  5. Journal and pen (I'm partial to Moleskine) - I like to journal when I'm traveling so that's why I bring it but it's handy for writing down your packing list and bring it with you (so you don't lose anything on your way back). It's also good to write down important phone numbers - like your hotel - and confirmation numbers for rental cars and whatnot. The pen is also especially awesome if you are traveling internationally because you have to fill out those pesky customs forms. Filling it out on the plane will save you loads of time getting through the queue once you land.
  6. Aloe socks ($12 for a pack of two at Kohls) - Aloe socks are great. I like to take my shoes off on the plane and give my toes some room to wiggle but your bare feet (no matter how perfectly pedicured) are probably not what your neighbors want to see (unless they're pervs). Aloe socks will pamper your feet while keeping you decent. Plus, aloe is incredibly moisturizing.
  7. Pashmina - the pashmina is my best friend on flights because yes, it's a fashion thing but it can also act as a blanket, you can crumple it to use as a pillow, or tuck it behind your back for some extra support (airplane seats can be really uncomfortable).
  8. Headphones and iPhone/iPod - airlines are scouting for more ways to make money, e.g. making you pay for in-flight entertainment, so instead of forking over $7+ every time I fly, I just bring my own entertainment. Headphones are great at blocking out noise when you want to nap. Or if you have a chatty neighbor, having headphones in your ears gives off the message: "I do not want to socialize, thanks."
  9. Toothbrush & toothpaste - um, yeah, if you're like me, you've fallen asleep on flights and woken up with a less-than-fresh taste in your mouth. Don't arrive at your destination with funky breath - keep your toothbrush and toothpaste handy in your carry on so you can freshen up.
  10. Glasses, contacts case, contact solution/rewetting drops - I like to keep my glasses and contacts case handy in case my eyes get dry and I need to take my contacts out. If you have 20-20 vision, bless you, you are lucky, but you can still suffer dry eyes. Rewetting drops will revive your eyes so you don't arrive looking bloodshot and zombie-like.
Happy traveling.